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Gyoza Burgers

My husband and I recently moved from California to Kansas, leaving behind our family, our friends, our entire lives to pursue his career in meteorology and my career in law. Although we love Kansas, we miss our family and friends in California. We return to California for the holidays, where every Thanksgiving and Christmas, my Japanese mother and I wake up early to stuff and fold hundreds of gyoza for our holiday dinner guests. I recreated our non-traditional holiday treat so that my husband and I could enjoy the flavors of the holidays during the summer, when we are unable to be with our family.

Ingredients 

1/4 cup prepared mayonnaise

1/4 cup ponzu

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup Chinese style mustard, divided

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon chili oil

1/4 teaspoon plus 2 teaspoons ground ginger, divided

3 cups cabbage slaw mix

1 cup mung bean sprouts

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 1/4 pounds ground pork

3/4 pound 80/20 ground beef

1 large yellow onion, grated and squeezed of its liquid

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoons salt, divided

2 quarts canola oil, divided

6 wonton wrappers

6 King's Hawaiian bread buns, split

Instructions 

1. Preheat the grill over medium-high flame.

2. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the mayonnaise, ponzu, rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon Chinese mustard, brown sugar, chili oil, and 1/4 teaspoon ginger.

3. Place the slaw mix and the bean sprouts in a large bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Toss to combine and set aside.

4. Place the sesame seeds in a dry pan and toast over the flame for 2 minutes, tossing constantly to avoid burning. When the seeds are light brown and fragrant, remove them from the pan and allow them to cool in a single layer. Set aside.

5. Place the ground pork, ground beef, onion, pepper, and remaining 2 teaspoons ground ginger in a medium bowl. Set aside.

6. Mince the garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon salt. Run the knife through the garlic again and use the side of the blade to mash the garlic into a paste. Put the paste in the meat mixture.

7. Gently combine the meat mixture with your fingers, being careful not to overwork the meat. Divide into six equal portions and form each portion into 1 half-pound patty. Use your thumbs to form a shallow well in the center of each patty. Set aside.

8. Place the oil in a small dutch oven, reserving 1 tablespoon, and place the oven over the flame. Allow to come to 350 degrees.

9. When the oil is hot, fry the wonton wrappers for about one minute. Fry them in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the dutch oven. When the wrappers are light brown and crisp, remove them from the oil and let them drain on paper towels. Immediately sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside. Remove the oil from the flame, cool, and discard.

10. Brush the hot grill with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the patties on the grill, close the lid, and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the patties, close the lid, and cook another 4 to 5 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Remove the patties from the grill and allow them to rest.

11. While the burgers rest, place the bun halves cut side down on the grill over indirect heat. Toast them for 2 minutes or until they are light brown around the edges. Remove them from the grill and turn off the flame.

12. Add the toasted sesame seeds to the slaw and toss to combine.

13. Place 1/2 cup of the slaw on the bottom of each bun. Place a patty on top of the slaw. Place a wonton wrapper on top of each patty. Spread 2 teaspoons of Chinese mustard on the top of each bun and place the top halves of each bun on top of each wonton wrapper. Enjoy.